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Ben Spies WSB

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Ben Spies WSB

Post by LilSmiler46 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:28 pm

News and Information on World Superbike Rider Ben Spies
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Re: Ben Spies WSB

Post by LilSmiler46 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:29 pm

Elbow Room: It's Tuesday; This Must Be Monza
by Ben Spies

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'll be running the number 19 next year in World Superbike. My best friend when I was 14, his number was 19. We were on the same team, and he passed away. His name was Ryan Smith.

Beyond that reason, the number nineteen just keeps coming up way too many times for me to ignore it. A couple of my friends noticed it as well. I'm not very superstitious and I don't do a whole lot of weird things, but my little cousin, that was his number all through high school. My long-time girlfriend back when I was a teenager - we're still good friends - it was her number in high school too. And things like, when I'm filling up at a truck stop, it always seems to be I'm at island no. 19. Or with my thousands of miles that I do on the road in the motorhome, every time I look up at a mile marker, it ends in 19. I figured it was time to put it into action, and hopefully my old buddy can help me out as much as he can, because we're going to need it this year, that's for sure.

We flew into Portugal on Thursday night before the race. We got to the track and stayed low-key, watched everybody for the whole weekend. It was really cool to see Troy Bayliss go out on top. He's an awesome racer, and for him to sweep the weekend like that, so convincingly, it was pretty cool to watch. I was very impressed with the paddock and the people. From hospitality, to the pit boxes and the garages, to the teams - I don't know a whole lot of people in GP, so I don't want to give the wrong vibe out, but it did seem a little more friendly. The riders definitely had a little more connection with each other. People were definitely having fun, and that was cool to see.

Then Monday I showed up to watch the journalists ride. Michael Schumacher rode the Yamaha a little bit, and I got to chat with him. Then at noon, they said, "At 4:00 we want you to go out and do a couple laps, just ride the bike for the first time at the end of the day." That was fun. Then I started out Tuesday and Wednesday. We did our first two-day test, and it was good. I think we did about 25 laps total on Haga's bike, and that was good. On the first day, they said the track was not quite up to par, and we got pretty good times on that, for just running some standard stuff and pretty much Nori's setup. Then we moved to the '09 bike and did laps.

The whole purpose of the test, for me, really, was to work with the team and let them get data on the '09 bike, because it's very early in development, and very mildly built. That's about all I can say.

What we came away from the test with was really good. I got a really good feel for the tires, and did a lot of laps on those. And the suspension, I'm running Öhlins now. Working with the team. It was really good - it was awesome. And to get going with the times we were doing on the '09 bike, I was really happy with. It was good, because there's quite a bit to go. I was very happy with that. And just to get on the track with those guys. Not everybody was there, but my teammate was there, and Shakey Byrne, and Biaggi, and Haslam, who'd been on the podium on Sunday. It was good to get on the track with those guys and see how we went.

Walking away from the test, I think it was a really successful test. If I'd been a second and a half off the front of the times for the first time on the tires and bike, I would have been ecstatic, and to end up where we did, it was unbelievable. I can't go into a whole lot of detail about the bikes, but it was pretty amazing, and I look forward to riding them. They're awesome. I hope every weekend goes like that, and hopefully I can just see it getting better. I'm looking forward to the '09 season.

Schumacher showed everybody that he's pretty quick. He came to a track that he didn't know, along with everybody else, and he was good. He was exactly where I thought he would be. Obviously not quite on the pace, but definitely, for a weekend rider kind of guy, he was up front, and what I can say about Michael is I can see why he's done what he's done. Even though he's not at the speed that the front guys are at, it's amazing, if you listen to him talk, the feedback he can give. He understands suspension and mapping and all the different tires he tried, and he can really break it down. It's pretty amazing. I think Michael could obviously run up front now in the Formula One cars and probably still be the best at it, even without the driving aids they used to have, the brakes and the traction control and stuff. When he was in the cars, those aids are why the cars go around as fast as they do - the traction control, the brake control, all the different adjustments with the wings and all that stuff. Even though a lot of people complained that it takes the driving out of them, it really takes the driver to set the car up. That's where I can understand how he did that, because he is so good with feeling the changes and being able to talk about what every component is doing, and break it down. He understands the mechanicals of a motorcycle.

I'm in Milan right now. I'll be checking out the Milan Motorcycle Show tomorrow. I get to run the Monza track early in the morning. But I just can't wait, for the new team, the new bike, and living at least half of the year in Italy will be a big change. It's going to keep everything new, and fun, and fresh. I'm really looking forward to it. I think it's going to be a tough year, with learning some tracks, but it's going to be fun. The '09 bike is going to be unbelievable, I think. From where it started when we first took the first couple of laps on it, to where we ended the test, and knowing where it is in its development, it makes for an exciting year. To be living over here part of the year and traveling the world, I'm going to have a whole lot of fun, that's for sure.

The team manager, Massimo Meregalli, is doing a marathon in a couple of weeks. I showed up on Friday and told him I needed to go jog or something. I don't have my bicycle with me, and always like to do something getting off the plane, to get everything woken back up. He's like, "Yeah, we need to go run the track," and we set off running. Little did I know he'd been training for a marathon. We ended up running 10 or 11 miles right off the spot. I was like, "Wow." That's pretty cool. He's a pretty good runner, so that was fun. It's good to know that he's fit, too, so training will be more fun in Italy, because I'll be able to train with him. Tomorrow we'll go run a couple of laps of the Monza track in the morning before we go to the Milan show. I'm just having a lot of fun. He's a great manager and I really had fun with the team.

Tom Sykes, my teammate, he's a funny English guy. We got along right from the start, and did a lot of work with the '09 together and tried to get through a lot of parts. I think he's going to work out really well. He's a really good rider, too.

I've watched racing forever, so it'll be really cool to see Monza, and I'm looking forward to riding it. It was funny - this guy came up to me and started talking to me. He was the Yamaha Supersport director. I thought I recognized him, but I wasn't sure. It was Wilco Zeelenberg, a 250 rider from the early '90s. I watched him when he was wearing that bright orange helmet. He got on the podium at Assen, I think it was '92 or '93. I've been watching the sport for a long time. I just can't wait to ride Monza, and Phillip Island especially. The race shop's five minutes from Monza, so we'll be able to go run a couple of laps. It'll be great. I'm also hoping maybe Imola gets back on the schedule, because Monza and Imola are the two tracks that I really want to ride, and Imola especially, after I saw the battle between Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss a few years ago. That was an awesome race. He said, "Hey, let's go run Monza in the morning," and I was like, "Hell yeah!"

Everything's really fun. It's not every day that people get put in this situation. I'm definitely going to try to get everything out of it that I can. I hope to have a great year. Come business time, I want to run up front and try to do good for Yamaha and me, and try to win races and do all those things. That part's definitely going to be hard, but I'm looking forward to a really fun year.
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Re: Ben Spies WSB

Post by tammerz on Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:11 am


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Re: Ben Spies WSB

Post by tammerz on Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:05 pm

Ben Spies confirms Yamaha MotoGP interest for 2010
By Matthew Birt

MotoGP

08 January 2009 15:32


Ben Spies has confirmed he sits high on a list of Yamaha MotoGP targets for 2010.

The Texan is already being touted for a possible seat in the Tech 3 Yamaha squad, depending on how he performs in his rookie World Superbike campaign next season for Yamaha’s official factory team.

Spies’ manager Doug Gonda held lengthy talks with Tech 3 during 2008, but new deals for James Toseland and Colin Edwards closed the door on a swoop for the triple American superbike champion.

But the 24-year-old has made it clear he desires a MotoGP future and is determined to make the switch with Yamaha.

“I think I am one of the first people that they (Yamaha) want to ride their bike if Colin (Edwards) was to retire or Toseland went, whatever the case.

"What I’m happy about is that if I decide to stay in World Superbikes then I feel that I’m with the best team and if I go to MotoGP I’ll obviously be on one of the top teams with a bike that can win, “Spies told MCN.

Spies said he is convinced the Yamaha YZR-M1 is a bike to suit his style, with the four-cylinder machine proving its versatility in 2008.

He added: “Its not just Valentino because it goes good with Colin and (Jorge) Lorenzo, guys with all different styles. With the Ducati it seems that only Casey (Stoner) can make it work but the Yamaha seems to get around the track whoever is on it.”

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Re: Ben Spies WSB

Post by Mrs James Toseland on Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:47 pm

tammerz wrote:Ben Spies confirms Yamaha MotoGP interest for 2010
By Matthew Birt

MotoGP

08 January 2009 15:32


Ben Spies has confirmed he sits high on a list of Yamaha MotoGP targets for 2010.

The Texan is already being touted for a possible seat in the Tech 3 Yamaha squad, depending on how he performs in his rookie World Superbike campaign next season for Yamaha’s official factory team.

Spies’ manager Doug Gonda held lengthy talks with Tech 3 during 2008, but new deals for James Toseland and Colin Edwards closed the door on a swoop for the triple American superbike champion.

But the 24-year-old has made it clear he desires a MotoGP future and is determined to make the switch with Yamaha.

“I think I am one of the first people that they (Yamaha) want to ride their bike if Colin (Edwards) was to retire or Toseland went, whatever the case.

"What I’m happy about is that if I decide to stay in World Superbikes then I feel that I’m with the best team and if I go to MotoGP I’ll obviously be on one of the top teams with a bike that can win, “Spies told MCN.

Spies said he is convinced the Yamaha YZR-M1 is a bike to suit his style, with the four-cylinder machine proving its versatility in 2008.

He added: “Its not just Valentino because it goes good with Colin and (Jorge) Lorenzo, guys with all different styles. With the Ducati it seems that only Casey (Stoner) can make it work but the Yamaha seems to get around the track whoever is on it.”

james will never leave motogp dont do a post say that again lol!

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Re: Ben Spies WSB

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